Sunday, 27 January 2013

Week 13 Progress Pictures

The blog is a little late this week, so apologies for that. But what a week it has been.

The installers arrived bright and early on Wednesday morning, and go to work connecting all the different bits of the brewery. And quite frankly making the place look like a bomb has gone off. But that's not all that happened this week.

A while ago we had a vote on twitter and Facebook to decide on the styling of the custom bottle caps we are going to use. I am hugely excited about these, and was a very happy man when they arrived. I think you will agree they look great, and will look even better sealing in some Weird Beard beers. They may even look good attached to a fridge or as a badge.

Anyway, lets get on with this week pictures. You may not be able to see all of this detail, but i will explain what has changed, or what has been added.

Below the mezzanine on the wall you can see the first of about 4 control panels. This one lets us monitor and control what's going on with he liquor tanks on the mezzanine. Between the mash tun and the kettle you can just see the back of the plate chiller, that will cool the freshly boiled wort to a suitable temperature before we transfer it to the fermenters.

Next up, in this picture you can see some stainless steel pipes running across the mezzanine barrier from the liquor tanks down to the brew house. That and general clutter from having around 6 people on site working.

For some reason we have a picture of some squirt cleaner next. Didn't notice that when taking the picture, i was distracted by all the other cool stuff happening. But now its all i can see when looking at this. So let me try and distarct you with 2 large control panels now mounted the the cool room door. These will control the step temperature for the mash tun, the stirring motor in the mash tun and the heating of the kettle. There are also pipes running across walls, ceiling and down to the brew house.

Looking down from the mezzanine dosnet show much, just loads of tools used for bending and cutting pipes.


We are still burried in around 8 tonnes of malt on the mezzanine. A lot of work has been done on the plumbing and connecting up of the liquor tanks to the rest of the system. Buit none of that can be seen through all that bloody malt.

I couldn't decide which angle to take the fermentation room pictures from this week, as there is stuff happening in both. So i have added both. Most importantly, there are now 4 fermenters instead of the 2 from last week. On the top picture the fermenters have been moved around a bit to let the installers get to the bits they need. To the very right of the picture you can see one of 2 chillers that will fill the jackets of the fermenters with a temperature controlled mix of water and glycol. The lower pictures shows the 2nd of the these chillers, stashed behind the fridges. You can also see the fermenter control panel mounted on the wall. From here we can set the temperature of each fermenter individually. There are also loads of random pipes going off in all kinds of directions.

It has been hugely exciting around the brewery this week, but we have been dealt a bit of a blow. It looks like someone may have misjudged quite how much welding there was to be done. We have a great guy called Mike in doing the welding, but he has not been able to finish this week, and is not as available as we would like next week. We were hoping to get the first brews under way next week, but this means we will be delayed until at least Monday 11th February. We should be used to this kind of thing by now, but it still a huge disappointment. We are all so desperate to get brewing and get some product out there. Soon people, soon.

All views and grammatical errors are that of @WeirdBeardBryan and not necessarily the whole Weird Beard collective.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Week 12 Progress Pictures

I found the panoramic function on the camera on my phone. Makes the place look a little small though.

The week started with what we called 'Piss up in a Brewery' last Saturday, which involved inviting a small group of people along to the brewery for a kind of soft launch.

 Thanks Andy Parker for the picture

The kit isn't up and running yet, but most things are in place, and we wanted to share our vision and a few potential core beers with some people who have helped us out massively along the way. From my memory of the evening, I can quite confidently say Weird Beard Brew Co. CAN organise a piss up in a brewery.

Other things that happened around the brewery are mostly plumbing, electrical work and generally preparing for the installers to arrive next week.

We did have some friends on site building our cool room, which is built from prefabricated insulated wall panels and an industrial chiller unit. You can see where this is in the brewery in later pictures.

For some reason Mike Ellenberg decided to order something like 4 months of grain, which is about 6 tonnes. This arrive on 6 pallets on the back a rather large lorry that had to reverse down to the unit off the main road. This was taken off the lorry and put into the main brewery, then carefully loaded onto the mezzanine storage area.

As the brewery starts to take shape, the usual set of pictures I have been taking are starting not to tell the full story.  The brewery itself, and the new cool room are obscuing a lot of what's going on in the two standard pictures taken through the larger roller shutter. So this week, and for the remainder of these blogs, i will be taking one from the left of the brew house, one from the right, and one from behind.

The view from the left looking into the brewery, from the large roller shutter. This shows the new cool room the the left of the kettle. You can see a new set movable steps between the mash tun and the kettle, along with the new steam extraction tubing coming out of the kettle.

The right view shows the steps and the extraction tubing more clearly. You can also see on the far wall a couple of sinks and some helf & saftey and general first aid stuff. The bottling line along the righ wall has been pushed aside to make room while the install continues. 

This picture is taken from the far right corner, behind the bottle labeller and beside the large catering sink on the back wall. On the right you can see the new cool room exterior walls. Sitting in front of that, and behind the mash tun and kettle, is the hot water tank that will be used for the temperature stepped mashes. You also have a good view of the labeller, which is still waiting to be properly set up, which will be fun I'm sure.

The shot looking down from the mezzanine is the same as always. It has got cluttered again after the party, with boxes from small delivers etc. It also gives an interesting view of the extraction tubing.

The two pictures taken on the mezzanine shows just how much malt we have between Weird Beard Brew Co. and Ellenburg's Brewery. There are 8 pallets in total up there, taking up quite a bit of room. We tried to organise them in an efficient way, but this is a learning curve. Hopefully we wont be ordering quite so much in the future, as we do have other things that need storing somewhere.

Not a lot has changed in the back room, except the tables and beers have been cleaned up after the party. There are still only 2 out of 4 fermenters, but hopefully the other 2 will arrive and get installed this coming week.

It is a big week coming up. We expect a visit from the company from whom we sourced, and who will be installing the kit on Mon/Tues, and then expect an army of installers to be here on Wednesday. Hopefully this will be finished at some stage early the following week. As you can see, we are well stocked and ready to brew some beer. So until next week.

As always all views and grammatical errors are those of WeirdBeardBryan and not always the Weird Beard collective.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Week 11 Progress pictures

It's going to be a short one this week. A few things have happened this week, and we have taken delivery of around 2 tons of grain, and some key kegs, ready for when the kit is up and running. But mostly we have been planning and preparing for a very special 'piss up in a brewery', to say a big thanks to a few choice people who have helped us out along the way.

One big part of the build of the brewery that started this week was the construction of the cool room. This is were we will be storing hops, and the finished product before we ship it out. The special insulated walls are up, and now we are waiting on the air con unit to arrive and a special sliding door. You can see the cool room in the first pictures.

I these first 2 pictures you can see that the floor is wet, this makes for a good picture, but is not really relevant. More important is the stock of Key Kegs we have stored in the roof of the mezzanine. There are 60 of these just begging to be filled with some tasty Weird Beard beers. In the second of the 2 pictures you can see the cool room starting to take shape, just to the left of the kettle.

The camper van has gone, and the place is looking very tidy. We have people to impress visiting on Saturday, so we gave the floor good hose down to try and get rid of the tyre marks from the forklift, nothing to do with the camper van that was parked there all week, oh no, no way. Although i have to admit to linking the look of the wet floor, it makes it look like something has been happening. But alas, it has not.

Next pictures, as always are up on the mezzanine. We managed to get our hands on some office desks, chairs, book shelf and filing cabinet. All for free, which is a bonus. The place is really starting to look like an office. You may also notice to the right of the second picture is a pallet of grain, ready to make the beer that the key kegs are ready to carry to a bar near you. Still a week until the installer comes though.

The last picture show the back room, which has been prepared for our visitors tomorrow. 7 Cornelius kegs full of potential Weird Beard beers, and some tables that will hold another 3 for our guests to sample and give feedback on.

All looking very tidy this week. I'm sure it will get all cluttered again for next weeks pictures. Have a good week all.

All opinions and grammatical errors are that of WeirdBeardBryan and not always of the Weird Beard collective.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Week 10 Progress Pictures

It's Friday night, and that means it's blog writing time. Although it doesnt always happen that way, but i do try.

Not much to report this week unfortunately. People at the brewery seem to celebrate New Year over Christmas. As do a lot of people we are waiting on.

Good things that have happened include delivery of our forklift. Mike and myself couldn't resist having a little drive around, and are happy to say it actually fits under the mezzanine and all the way into the back room, if you are careful what route you take. This is a huge added bonus, as we didn't expect this at all. The fittings & fixtures, and pipes on the walls are now pretty much done for the hot and cold liquor tanks. We are pretty much just waiting for the brewery installers to come and connect it to their bits. And i have installed a half decent sound system, so we can listen to some top quality music to help inspire the creation of top quality beer.

We did unfortunately receive some bad news today though. It looks like we will not be seeing our brewery installers until around 21st January. We are ready and waiting for them now, and have been since the brewhouse arrived last week. This pushes back production yet another month pretty much. It is all down to the delays we had with the floor, as we were booked in for instillation at the beginning of December, but missed our window. It is not the end of the world, but a huge disappointment.

So this weeks pictures. Not a lot has changed, but it is traditional at this time of the week.

The only real noticeable difference in these pictures, is the bottling line starting to take shape along the wall on the right. And the forklift.

The obvious change here is that all the wood from the fermenter crates has gone. Only to be replaced by a 1968 VW bay camper van. That's mine, and I had a minor brake issue that meant I had to lock her away in the unit until I can work out what went wrong.

I actually remembered to take both of the pictures on the mezzanine this week. It is starting to look tidier and has the addition of a PC, microwave and sound system. Still more tidying to do though, and we expect some stock deliveries soon, along with some actual office furniture.

The back room is pretty much unchanged. Except a catering sink which now has legs and likes to hang out around the toilets. But that is out of shot.

Next week we hope to get the cold room up, get a few deliveries, and prepare for a very special 'piss up in a brewery' next weekend. But until then, have a good week all.

All views and grammatical errors are those of WeirdBeardBryan, and not the Weird Beard collective, or Ellenberg.